Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Congress avoids shutdown with one-week funding measure

On April 28, Congress temporarily averted a shutdown of the federal government when it passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR), H.J. Res. 99, that funded the government for another week. The stopgap measure gives lawmakers until Friday, May 5, to iron out details on more long-term funding that would see the government through this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Despite having a majority in both chambers of Congress, Republicans needed to negotiate with Democrats in the House and Senate over a number of issues to get the bill passed. Democratic leaders voiced concerns on some “poison pill” riders that had been attached to the bill. Among the riders of particular concern to letter carriers and the federal workforce were a block on the Labor Dept.’s fiduciary rules governing investment advice to retirees and provisions blocking National Labor Relations Board rules.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) indicated that the House and Senate were close to finalizing a deal and were open to addressing Democrats’ concerns regarding the payment of subsidies related to the Affordable Care Act and the funding of a wall on the U.S./Mexico border.

Senate Democrats were also pushing to secure an extension on healthcare for miners, among other items.

“We're willing to extend things for a little bit more time in hopes that the same kind of progress can continue to be made,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), “but we still have a little bit of a ways to go.”

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